OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:34 AM – Sunday, December 17, 2023
A Michigan mother was found guilty of the murder of her son and threw up on the stand when shown pictures of his very thin body hours before his passing.
On Friday, 44-year-old Shanda Vander Ark was found guilty after she starved her disabled teenage son to death.
Ark testified that she had given her son, 15-year-old Timothy Ferguson, a bath shortly before he was found dead in a closet she would force him to sleep in wrapped in a tarp.
An autopsy later revealed that Ferguson had died of malnourishment and hypothermia at just 69 pounds.
Prosecutor Matt Roberts questioned Ark about the specifics of the purported bath, getting her to admit that she was the one who put Timothy inside and gave him a wash and showing her pictures of Ferguson’s bruised body.
“He looked like that when you put him in the bathtub.” Roberts asked.
Once Ark sees the pictures, she immediately starts gagging before vomiting while on the stand.
She began to say, “I’m sorry,” but was overcome by yet another bout of illness, which turned into crying, forcing the judge to take her out of the courtroom.
After the jury found Vander Ark guilty of murder and child abuse, she remained ill and did not enter the courtroom again.
According to Paul Ferguson, Timothy’s older brother, he had given Timothy an ice bath that day, leaving him in the tub for at least four hours because his mother had told him to.
The teenager was frequently abused by being given ice baths, fed hot sauce, shackled and restrained with zip ties, and denied sleep.
Ark also gave Paul, who is accused of participating in the crime and is facing one count of first-degree child abuse, instructions to tease his younger brother by putting hot sauce on his genitalia and tossing a frozen pizza roll in his face.
During his testimony against his mother, Paul acknowledged fulfilling numerous other insane requests from her.
The jury deliberated for just over an hour, and on January 29th, Ark will be sentenced to life in prison.